How to maintain a balanced diet: Basic tips for Seniors

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is crucial for seniors who are living an active and healthy lifestyle. Without the proper nourishment it is easy to over-exert the system, creating the potential for a health issue to occur. Intake of harmful foods and liquids should be limited, and essential vitamins and minerals consumed daily. Maintaining a balanced diet should be a priority for elderly. According to dietitians, these are key guidelines for seniors looking to maintain good health. Here are some tips on How to maintain a balanced diet.

How to maintain a balance diet: Basic tips for Seniors


Called the building blocks of life, protein assists recuperation of muscles and builds on a cellular level. Luckily protein is available through a variety of sources. Nuts, eggs, poultry and even some vegetables are high in protein. The need for protein increases with age as it is needed to heal wounds, a more common occurrence as surgeries may increase. For elderly that are vegetarian, there are many protein options on the market created with plant-based proteins. However, supplementary addition of real bio-available protein may be necessary.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

These are essential health fats. In contrast to trans fats or unhealthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids possess two crucial ones acids, EPA and DHA, that are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the 3rd omega-3 fatty acid, can be obtained from nuts and seeds. The body needs a balanced delivery of these fatty acids on a daily basis, or at least twice a week. This can reduce inflammation in the body, which are factors in the development of heart disease, and even chronic conditions like arthritis. For those who are not able to secure a diet in omega-3’s it is possible supplement with vitamins.


Calcium affects bone health, and a lack of this mineral can result in the development of conditions such as osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases. As people age, one added benefit of calcium is that it helps to lower blood pressure. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states adults over the age of 50 need at least 1200 milligrams of calcium per day. If possible this should come from natural sources such as kale and other dark leafy greens. If natural sources of calcium are not available, consume about 4 cups of orange juice and other non-dairy milks are also fortified with this mineral.

 Vitamin B2 and B6

There are a literal suite of B vitamins, however, B2 is the foundation of good cellular health. The B vitamin boosts cellular ability to produce energy. Vitamin B is needed to maintain vision and keep skin looking healthy. Look for foods with Riboflavin in them as this is one of the most important B vitamins. Intake needs do not increase with age, but researchers have found that likelihood of Riboflavin deficiencies do. Vitamin B6 works to create new cells and B vitamin niacin. It is also involved in the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in serotonin creation. Make sure that seniors get a good dose of B vitamins to regular cell health and stress levels.

Changing a Dietary Regimen

It is a challenge to get seniors to change their dietary habits. Coming from older generations, it is possible they were taught what to eat by their parents or dietitians from their era, and many elderly are slow to adapt to new routines. The science behind the adaptation of new foods into the diet is harder to understand as well. Elderly who find it difficult to embrace new diets shouldn't be forced into trying new things abruptly; in fact, this could reduce the chances of a successful diet change altogether. Exceptionally difficult absorption of minerals and vitamins may require administration of vitamins and minerals through liquid.

Try adding in new foods slowly, and take notes on what works for that individual. If possible, try substituting older ingredients with new ones, especially in the case where it wouldn't be too obvious. There are many mineral and protein supplements on the market that can easily be added into smoothies. Break up mineral supplements and add them in too! Take note of the foods that contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals, and make these a priority shopping item. Kale, for example, is one of the most nutrient dense foods, one cup possessing about 206% of Vitamin A and 134% of Vitamin C in addition to Vitamin K, potassium. It is also helpful to stay current on elderly dietary news and nutritional discoveries, taking incremental steps towards better health for loved ones.

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